This is a butterfly of primarily western North America, ranging from central Alaska south to California and northern Arizona and New Mexico, and east to the western portions of the Plains states, and to northern Minnesota and southwestern Ontario. It occurs through most of Idaho.
It can be found in open, often moist areas, including fields, meadows, and open forests.
Caterpillars eat the buds, flowers, and fruits of members of the mustard
family (Brassicaceae), such as rock cress (Arabis spp.) and various mustards
(Brassica spp., Descurainia spp., and Sisymbrium spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink nectar, most often from yellow or white flowers of their host plants.
There is one generation of caterpillars per growing season through most of its range, but there may be two in California, the first of which occurs in early spring. Pupae overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Adults generally fly from late April through August.
Males actively patrol to find receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on the flower buds of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm (Version 05Nov98).
Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies. Second Edition. Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.
Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.
Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.